Alumna says her international experience helps her interact with the global business community at work

Becky Smith

Anna Istnick, second from left, visits Paris, France while studying abroad in 1995. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNA ISTNICK

Credit: DKS Editors

When Kent State alumna Anna Istnick stepped onto a plane headed for Geneva, Switzerland in 1995, her junior year, she had no idea how the journey would change her life.

Growing up in a first-generation Italian family, Istnick always had a passion for the international world. It developed into a love for travel, and it soon had her applying for Kent State’s Geneva Semester.

“One of the reasons I chose to study abroad was to take advantage of my Italian background,” Istnick said. “But I also wanted to continue my love for travel and other cultures.”

While in Geneva, Istnick and her 11 classmates took classes in business, French, international relations and economics during the weekdays. The students were also encouraged to participate in internships.

Istnick had the opportunity to intern with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. She said her internship responsibilities included research and writing about current international conflicts and resolutions.

While in Geneva, Istnick experienced international reaction to the conflict in Bosnia, which she said made her time in Geneva more fascinating.

On the weekends, Istnick and her friends would travel throughout Europe to soak up the local color. Istnick said they traveled to Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Greece, all the while creating lasting friendships.

Today, Istnick works at Diebold, Inc. in North Canton as manager of industry communications for financial self-service.

Since her start with Diebold, Istnick has held a variety of international positions that have allowed her to interact with the global business community. Istnick said she uses knowledge gained from her experiences during her semester abroad everyday in her career.

“My experience has really helped to bring perspective for how a global company fits in the bigger picture of a global economy,” she said. “The more you know about other people and cultures, the more of an advantage you have where you are at.”

Contact international affairs and regional campuses reporter Becky Smith at [email protected].